Scientists are asking the public to watch out for European green crabs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and in Puget Sound. (Washington Sea Grant)

Scientists are asking the public to watch out for European green crabs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and in Puget Sound. (Washington Sea Grant)

Invasive crab species discovered in Washington’s inland waters

The European green crab, which can eat clams, shellfish and young salmon, has been found in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island.

By Hal Bernton

McClatchy News Service

WESTCOTT BAY — The European green crab, an invasive species that can eat clams, shellfish and young salmon, has been found for the first time in Washington’s inland waters.

The crab was discovered in late August in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, by volunteers with Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team.

Three experts confirmed that the captured crustacean — a 3-inch adult male — was indeed a green crab.

European green crabs, which can stow away on ships, showed up in East Coast waters in the 1800s.

In the Pacific Northwest, the crab has been present for more than a decade in the coastal estuaries of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor as well as off Oregon and Vancouver Island.

With some 400 possible suitable sites in the state’s inland waters, Washington Sea Grant has sounded a “call to action” for citizens to keep their eyes open for the green crab when they are on the beach.

In Washington, the crab is a prohibited species, and possession is not permitted.

Anyone who thinks they’ve found one of these crabs is encouraged to take a photograph and report their observation via email to [email protected].

More information can be found online at the Washington Sea Grant crab team website, http://tinyurl.com/PDN-CrabTeam.

More in News

Eowyn Reardon, 22 months, assisted parents Benjamin Reardon and Amy Johnson of Port Townsend at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day beach cleanup on Monday. Scores of people took to the shores at Fort Worden State Park for the event hosted by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Fort Worden beachgoers pick up litter on MLK day

Cleanup event also at Boat Haven, state and county parks

Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce envisions five-year downtown plan

Study includes look at three similar cities, director says

COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Peninsula to resume Tuesday

State announces plan to provide 45,000 shots daily

Alan and Karen Selig were among the gleaners volunteering at Joyce's Blueberry Haven last summer. (Photo courtesy of Sharah Truett/WSU Clallam County Extension)
Summer tastes are still alive

Volunteer gleaners share with schools, friends and family

Clallam County Heritage Board accepting applications for grants

The Clallam County Heritage Advisory Board is accepting applications for historic preservation… Continue reading

A piece of driftwood sits on the beach on Friday at the edge of the western portion of Port Angeles Harbor. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port of Port Angeles nearing deal for harbor cleanup

Potential liable parties also include city of Port Angeles

More than 1,300 in Clallam County receive shot for COVID-19

Jefferson to begin vaccinations this week

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Bill Chastain of Port Angeles receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Shaina Gonzales of the North Olympc Healthcare Network during Saturday's vaccination clinic at Port Angeles High School.
Appointment-only system used in Port Angeles

An appointment-only system of scheduling allowed Port Angeles to… Continue reading

Most Read